July 1, 2000: Leiter Fans 12, Mets Whip Braves
|Date: July 1, 2000|
|Mets starter: Al Leiter|
|Winning pitcher: Al Leiter|
|Key player(s): Al Leiter, Derek Bell, Mike Piazza, Benny Agbayani|
|Key play: Mets’ six runs in 2nd|
Leiter fanned both Quilvio Veras and Andruw Jones to start a perfect top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Derek Bell doubled against the Braves’ Greg Maddux. Bell advanced to third base on Edgardo Alfonzo’s ground out to shortstop Rafael Furcal and came home on a wild pitch third strike to Mike Piazza. Maddux then retired Robin Ventura on a pop-up to Furcal that ended the inning.
Leiter struck out Furcal to finish off a scoreless top of the second. Benny Agbayani hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom half. Leiter singled and moved to third base on a double by Melvin Mora. Bell followed with his second double to drive home Leiter and Mora for a four-run Mets lead. Alfonzo singled to score Bell and an ensuing two-run homer by Piazza stretched the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Maddux then issued a walk to Ventura and got Todd Zeile on a ground ball to third baseman Chipper Jones for the inning’s final out.
Leiter recorded a strikeout of Keith Lockhart to end a perfect top of the third. Braves’ reliever Bruce Chen set down the side in order in bottom half and Andruw Jones was struck out to open the top of the fourth. Chipper Jones and Andres Galarraga followed with back-to-back singles and Brian Jordan went down on strikes. Bobby Bonilla singled to drive home Chipper Jones with the first Atlanta run and Furcal grounded out to second baseman Alfonzo to end the inning. Chen then held the Mets to a single by Bell in the bottom half.
Leiter chalked up two more strikeouts in a perfect top of the fifth inning. Chen gave up just a single to Jay Payton in the bottom half and Andruw Jones drew a walk to lead off the top of the sixth. Chipper Jones was struck out and Galarraga popped out to shortstop Mora. Jordan hit a double on which Chipper Jones was out at home via a relay throw by Mora to catcher Piazza to finish off the inning. Chen then retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
Bonilla singled to begin the top of the seventh. Walt Weiss went down on strikes and Fernando Lunar hit a single to center field. Leiter followed up with strikeouts of both pinch-hitter Trent Hubbard and Lockhart for a game total of twelve to end the inning. The Mets failed to score after loading the bases against the Braves’ Don Wengert in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell then set down the side in order in the top of the eighth.
Joe McEwing reached on an error by Chipper Jones to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Mora was struck out and Bell followed with a two-run homer for his fourth hit of the game. Wengert retired Alfonzo and Piazza on consecutive infield pop-ups to end the inning and Jordan flied out to center fielder Payton to start the top of the ninth. Bonilla was fanned to become the thirteenth Atlanta strikeout victim. Wendell then got Weiss on a fly ball to left fielder McEwing for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching and hitting.